Aug 02

Deco Drive Cigars South Beach Miami

 
Deco Drive Cigars Miami
Deco Drive Cigars
414 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33109
305.531.8388

South Beach Miami is my kind of town. I first hit South Beach as a teenager in the late 90’s but I was too young to really embrace it. Now anytime I can break away for a couple a days, Miami is always at the top of my list for a quick get away. The scenery is amazing, and nightlife is non-stop.

With any trip I take, I always scope out the local Cigar life at my destination town. During my last trip with the wife, I made it a point to stop by Deco Drive Cigars. Located on Lincoln Road, Deco Drive Cigars is somewhat of a staple in South Beach. Lincoln road is one of the main strips, so walking and smoking is encouraged. When I stopped in I was impressed with its set up. As soon as you walk in you are welcomed at the door by a lovely female host. There is a well stocked bar by the entrance with various scotches, cognacs, rums and other great spirits.
At the end of the shop is the walk in humidor. Deco Drive has a great selection of smokes ranging from top shelf lines to some respectable house brands. Due to their spicy location, expect accompanying spicy prices. But with those prices you are sure to get some well-kept cigars. Everything I browsed through seemed fresh and on the up and up. They had a great stock of Davidoff’s, Padron’s, and Arturo Fuente’s.
What really took me by surprise was the fact that they had the Zino Platinum Crown Series Limited Edition Special Wrapper Double Grandes.

  These are nothing short of spectacular. I treated myself to these the day before my wedding, and I was blown away with great flavor and complexity. It was definitely a sight for sore eyes as few shops stock these.

The staff at Deco was very helpful, knowledgeable and fluent in different languages. My only complaint was that they seem to steer novice customers to their more expensive brands. Nevertheless Deco has a great vibe to it. Out front they have a designated seating area with hookah pipes on standby. You can enjoy your cigar and a nice drink amongst other smokers in peace. If you are ever in South Beach and are looking for a smoke, then definitely check out Deco.
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Jul 31

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Guerrero Cigar Review

 
Cigar: La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Guerrero
Binder: Dominican
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Tobacco: Dominican
Length: 6 1/4
Ring Gauge: 54

Through my various experiences as a cigar enthusiast, I’ve learned the hard way to always bring your own smokes when traveling out of state. You are leaving a lot of things to chance when you depend on a destination brick and mortar cigar operation for your smoking pleasure. Their humidification system might be faulty, they might not carry your favorite brands or it might be too much of a distance to make that trip from where you’re staying. Before my last trip to Miami, I made sure to pick at least five cigars in New York.
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Jul 30

Tread 1 Watch By Devon Works

Tread 1 Watch By Devon Works

During my recent visit to the Hamptons, I was surrounded by luxury. From million dollar homes to exotic automobiles of all flavors, it was definitely a show. The one thing that really blew me away was a watch worn by a gentleman I was standing next to while enjoying the festivities. The watch in question is the Tread 1.

Tread 1 Watch By Devon Works

The Tread 1 is truly an engineering marvel. The movement of the Tread 1 utilizes an interwoven system of time belts. So think of it like a series of attached treadmills pulling each other in some sort of scientific system to tell time. The Tread 1 also makes use of WI-FI technology; so wireless charging! The watch is a bold statement to say the least. To make this kind of statement will run you 15,000.00 dollars on the cool.

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Jul 30

Cigar Review: Partagas 1845 Classico

 

Cigar: Partagas 1845 Classico
Binder: Nicaraguan Ligero
Wrapper: Sun Grown Connecticut Broadleaf
Tobacco: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Length: 5 1/4
Ring Gauge: 54

Early on when I got into smoking I always gravitated towards more milder cigars. I just wanted to blow smoke; literally. I thought Connecticut tan-colored wrappers always indicated that it was a softer smoke and dark wrappers indicated strong-tasting tobacco. Years later I learned the error of my ignorance and started grabbing all types of cigars.

In my opinion this is the only way to really develop your own unique taste profile. Cigars that I thought were great when I was a novice taste like crap to me now. One of my first attempts at a full body smoke was the Partagas 1845.

This is actually a Connecticut wrapped stick. Most Connecticut wrappers are a tan color, but the 1845 features a much darker wrapper. This is due to extra time being exposed to the sun while on the stalk. The results are a much deeper flavor.

The Partagas 1845 looks great. It is the darkest cigar I have ever smoked. It is tightly packed and very firm to the touch from top to bottom. Upon taking a sniff of the foot I got a nice hint of spice. I knew then that this cigar would be more than what I was used to.

Bandwith:
The 1845 has a beautiful black and champagne colored embossed band that features some crests, coins, and a crown. Very regal. Still to this day one of the more memorable bands in my collection.

Opening:
Upon my first draw I got a strong taste of pepper which immediately turned me off. An up front blast of spice is not my cup of tea. I prefer to let the flavor grow as you get deeper into the cigar; but that’s just my own personal preference. The burn line right now is really wavy, but that might be my fault. I’m outside and getting this thing lit with some matches was trying. It is always better to light cigars with a traditional cigar lighter. Cigarette fluid lighters can affect the flavor of your cigar due to the gas used.
As I get more puffs in, the pepper is still there but it’s not as overpowering as before. The ash is a dusty grey and holding firm thus far.
Seconds:
Right now I’m in the second thirds of this cigar. The flavor is deep and really coats my tongue on each puff. I wouldn’t say the flavor is harsh but it’s strong. You definitely taste the tobacco with the 1845. I suggest pairing this cigar with some water to take some edge off it. As I continue smoking it finally starts showing range with some notes of coffee and chocolate finally making an appearance. So far I’m not very impressed with the Partagas. Let’s see if things pick up for me.
The Finish:
As we get to the end, the Partagas is burning really hot and the taste is too harsh for me. The ash has turned a dark grey and is burning really unevenly. I’m trying to be a trooper but this cigar is just too much of everything I don’t prefer. I was hoping for more of a gradual build up here, but all I got were knock out punches. Lights out.
 
The Verdict:
As I put the Partagas 1845 out of its misery in my ashtray, I felt disappointed. I was ready to embrace a heavier cigar but it just didn’t work in my favor. The flavor was too strong for me, and it burnt hot and unevenly. In all honesty though, I would give this cigar another chance if I came across it but I just haven’t.
I’m sure there are some smokers who keep this cigar steadily available in their humidor. But like wine tasting, cigars are subjective. If you have a chance try the Partagas 1845 out and let me know what you think. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. Long ashes everyone.
1.5 out of 5 crowns

Jul 28

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona

 
Cigar: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona
Binder: Mexico
Wrapper: Honduras
Tobacco: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Length: 4.5
Ring Gauge: 44

During my early days of cigar smoking, I’ve always saw and heard of Rocky Patel cigars. From the monthly catalogs or just reading about stogies online, RP’s seem to be here to stay. The funny thing is Rocky was a lawyer who represented actors such as  Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gene Hackman. While wining and dining in Hollywood, Rocky caught the cigar bug and went on to drop his practice. Hence Rocky Patel Premium Cigars was born.

So while outside of New York, I decided to finally pick one up. I decided on the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona. Always leery of unfamiliar brands, I always pick up the smallest size available to avoid a pricey disappointment.

The Vintage 1990 features a 12-year-old dark maduro wrapper that is oily but smooth. At first inspection this is a good-looking stick. It is beautifully box pressed, firm throughout with only one or two minor veins that don’t even stick out.

My only cosmetic complaint is the cap. For a $5.95 stick at this size I would expect the cap to be flawless, but it wasn’t. It had some noticeable wrinkles in it and I wondered why. After further inspection I noticed the cap was a separate piece of wrapper all together that was just tacked on. Tisk tisk tisk, nonetheless this stick is still pleasing to the eye. The aroma is nice too; like a light creamy spice.

Bandwith:
The Vintage 1990 RP comes with two separate burgundy bands which in my opinion is a nice touch. After I’m done with every cigar, I make sure to save the band as a keepsake. The same goes with champagne corks.

The Opening:
Well the cap has come back to bite me. As soon as I cut the cigar, some of the wrapper unraveled which has never happened to me in my cigar smoking career. Strange. The pre-light draw feels firm and I get a hint of pepper. Time to fire this one up.

Upon toasting the foot and taking my initial puffs, I immediately got a smooth taste which at this time is difficult for me to put a flavor to. Nothing too drastic though as the profile so far is definitely in the mild zone. The burn is ok so far, the burn line aka the mascara isn’t completely even. Also the draw is a wee too tight for my liking. Still this mild ride is a comfy one so far.

Seconds:
Right now I’m at odds with this stick. The flavor is smooth but rich and ash is firm at a dusty white grey and holding up just like I like it. Another plus is the draw has loosened up and I get nice intake of smoke which each pull with no extra effort from my lungs.

The thing is the wrapper is loose as a goose at the head of the cigar which is becoming annoying. I’ve tried sticking it back with some saliva but no luck. The ash finally dropped and the burn line is still looks like a stock market graph.

I’m almost ready to take off the bottom band and hints of spice are more noticeable. The burn line has pretty much evened out too. 🙂

The Finish:
This Patel has about another 20 minutes or so from being done. The subtle spice provides a nice undertone and overall this is a smooth smoke. Still in the Mild region too. The loose wrapper is really a hassle and the burn line is uneven again so I know the problem doesn’t lie with how I lit it. Shrugs.

The top band is off now and I can tell its burning a little bit hotter than before as I’m getting a little harshness now. Time to put this guy to bed.

The Verdict:
Truth be told I like this stick; keyword is like. I could have enjoyed the Rocky Patel 1990 much more and but was held back due to construction issues. Admittedly the cigar was tasty but it wasn’t really complex and there was no build up of flavors. I would still recommend it to any fellow smoker looking for a consistently safe mild mellow smoke though. Long ashes everyone.

3 out of 5 crowns

 

Jul 27

Classics: Nasir Jones: The Resurrection

 

Nasir Jones: The Resurrection
KING SMIJ
2001

With this Classics section, I wanted to offer my readers something timeless each month. Anyone that knows me, understands my deep love of music. So I thought it was only right to include some releases that have either stayed in my collection, my heart or both.

To kick things off during the launch of www.flawlesscrowns.com, I couldn’t pick a better selection than this long forgotten mixtape Nasir Jones: The Resurrection. Mixed by KING SMIJ, this CD was released in late 2001 during the height of the war of words between Nas and Jay-Z.

During that time I remember playing this CD for anyone that would listen to it. Everyone that heard it agreed that it was a classic. I ended up loosing the CD somehow. Through some due dilgance, I was able to track down KING SMIJ and he was nice enough to send me it.

In my opinion Nas is Rap’s greatest lyricist of all time and I think this great mix of classic songs, unreleased tracks and freestyles will prove me correct.

Download

Download Link 2

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Jul 27

Mercedes-Benz Bridgehampton Polo 2010

On Saturday July 24th 2010, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the opening weekend festivities of Bridgehampton Polo. The day was filled with great moments for me. I felt like I was on a natural high the entire day. Growing up in the inner city I never imagined owning a moment like this in such a posh setting.

Bridgehampton Polo attracts la creme de la creme’ of the Hamptons Summer socialite season, and this opening weekend didn’t disappoint. Plenty of celebrities in the house too.

Kourtney Kardashian, Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, the cast of Real Housewives Of New York and Real Housewives Of New Jersey and many more were in attendance.

Chris Bosh Bridgehampton Polo

Miami Heat's Chris Bosh

 

The Real Housewives Of New York's Luann De Lesseps & Romona Singer

 

Polo star Nacho Figueras at the POLO Ralph Lauren suite

 

Our RSVP came with entry to the hospitality tent that greeted us with Patron Tequila cocktails, Ultimat Vodka cocktails, Zino Cigars, hors d’oeuvres and more. Sponsors included Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola, Patron Tequila, Blue Star Jets, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Swagg.

It was surreal watching my first polo match in person. It’s an experience unto itself watching those beautifully manicured horses charge up and down the field.

Bridgehampton Polo

Bridgehampton Polo Action

 

A personal highlight of mine was meeting Amber Rose. She even is more stunning in person; cigarette in her mouth and all. Amber worked the tent and just drew attention everywhere she went. A true presence.

Amber Rose At Bridgehampton Polo

Martin Berrios of Flawless Crowns & Amber Rose

 

As Bridgehampton Polo closed out around 6:45pm, I felt like the party just began. But all good things must come to end right? Nonetheless Bridgehampton Polo was one of my biggest social highlights for the Summer. Hopefully I’ll see you at week 2.

blog pinger

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Jul 27

Cigar Review: Padron 1926 Serie No. 35

 
Cigar: Padron 1926 Serie No. 35
Binder: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Tobacco: Nicaragua
Length: 4
Ring Gauge: 48

In the world of Cigars, the house of Padron is the one of the most prestigious and well-respected. Started by Jose Padron in 1964, Padron 1926 Serie is a dedication to Jose’s birth year. It also won “Top Cigar” in 2007, in Cigar Aficionado Magazine so I decided to give it a try. The 1926 Serie features a Nicaraguan wrapper, binder and tobacco and is stronger than the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series.

Always weary of those double-digit priced offenders I chose the No. 35 short robusto which was priced $14.95; the lowest of the batch. At first inspection, this bad boy looks great. This half hour smoke features a beautiful dark brown maduro wrapper. It’s firm but soft to the touch, and only two visible veins.

Bandwith:
The double  band is spicy. It’s very classy and all the sticks come with a unique serial number.

Opening:
After cutting the cigar I took a sniff and was pleasantly surprised by the scent. I lit it up and was impressed by the initial face. The draw was just right and the initial taste wasn’t overpowering; subtle spice too which I don’t mind. Additionally the ash was firm with the whitest grey I’ve ever seen, if that makes any sense.

Seconds:
Wow what a great cigar. Everything is moving along nicely with this bad boy. Right now I’m thinking dam I should have picked up more of these. Its got a great slow burn and the smoke ring is going out even.

Thirds:
The final third on this Padron 1926 Serie has built up into a complex smoke with no harshness in sight. The peppery flavor is a slightly stronger now and the hints of cream make this a winner. I did hit a snag with the cigar going out though. After a couple of tries with the matches I was back in business. With a couple of more puffs, I put this one to bed.

The Verdict:
I loved this cigar. My only gripe is the cost. But with lines like Padron, and Davidoff that is to be expected. If you’re interested in the 1926 Serie, I suggest trying to catch a sale online. Brick and mortar smoke shops will usually retail this cigar much higher. But if you’re like me, the price tag shouldn’t deter you from missing a great experience. And this is one to certainly not miss.

4.5 out of 5 crowns

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